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Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Hard Truth

Nashville, Indiana, distillery destination makes its mark

Founded in 2015, Hard Truth Distilling sits on a 325-acre wooded area in Nashville, Indiana, recognized as a tourist destination known for its natural beauty. Within the broad appeal of Brown County, Hard Truth has evolved – quickly – into one of the state’s most unique destinations itself. What the founding partners and owners created is the closest thing a visitor can get to an alcohol-themed amusement park, at least in Indiana.

“It’s like an adult Disneyland,” said Jeff McCabe, executive chairman of BWQOHT Inc., Hard Truth Distilling Co.’s umbrella company. Hard Truth also is one of the largest alcohol-themed entertainment complexes in the U.S. Last year more than 400,000 people visited the Hard Truth campus.

Photo provided by Kristen Tucker

We visited in November for an overnight stay at the Hard Truth Cabin. As the distillery campus continues to grow, additional cabins are expected to be built. For now, there is one well-appointed, cozy cabin (age 21-plus); Brown County also has ample accommodations to house the droves that visit for foliage each fall.

The first structure guests see when entering Hard Truth’s forested campus is a large rack house with a 4,000-barrel capacity for aging bourbon and whiskey. Last summer, the company announced the construction of a new rack house, twice the size of the original, tripling the distillery’s storage capacity to 12,000 barrels for its critically acclaimed Sweet Mash Rye and other whiskies.

Photo provided by Hard Truth Distilling Co.

Then there is the tasting and tour center, which has a full bar. We arranged for the Single Barrel Selection Experience where guests sample single-barrel whiskeys hand-selected by Hard Truth’s distillers.

After that comes the distillery building, which is a 50,000-square-foot structure that also includes the eatery, Big Woods. Inside is the distillery’s centerpiece: a 30-foot-tall still that is 14 inches in diameter and was custom-built by Vendome Copper and Brass Works in Louisville, Kentucky.

Guests can explore miles of trails around the wooded property through the cleverly branded “Get Lost” ATV Tour. Our chauffeur ushered us through woods to several unique areas to enjoy Hard Truth spirits and sister company Quaff ON! Brewing Co. beers.

After tastings, tours, or activities, visitors typically settle in for dinner and music from the stage of the expansive Hard Truth on the Rocks concert venue, or, in the winter, Fridays and Saturdays inside at the House of Rye.

Get Lost ATV Tour photo provided by the Tucker family

About Hard Truth Distilling Co.
418 Old State Road 46
Nashville, IN 47448
Hard Truth is part of the BWQOHT, Inc., brand family, which includes Big Woods Restaurant Group and Quaff ON! Brewing Co.

Hard Truth Sweet Mash is the distilling process in which each batch of whiskey begins with entirely fresh ingredients. Though the process is more labor intensive and costly than sour mashing, the result led Hard Truth to the release of one of its most revered products — the multiple award-winning Sweet Mash Rye Whiskey.

Meet the Master Distiller from Evansville!
Bryan Smith prepared for his role as Hard Truth Distilling Co. master distiller and co-partner by sitting on a kitchen counter in Evansville, taste testing for his grandmother Ponselle Smith. “I was her little buddy,” Smith says. “I was getting palate development.” “He’s a super taster,” says McCabe. Read about Smith’s journey from the family kitchen to the distillery in “Flavor Shaper.”

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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